tv Squawk on the Street CNBC November 16, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EST
>> mideastern policy. first, you want to make sure we protect israel. that we make sure that we deal with the oil situation, make sure oil is freely available. the first part? >> protect ourselves and allies from terrorism. >> tall order, glenn, thank you forl being with us tod for being with us. >> join us tomorrow. "squawk on the street" is next. the wall street, the nation and many around the world standing in solidarity with france following friday's terror attacks in parparis. welcome to "squawk on the street," i'm david faber along with jim cramer. carl quintanilla has the day off. let's give you a look at futures as we always do at this time. we're set up for what would seem to be a potentially lower open. nothing too dramatic at this point.
european markets may give a sense for us as to what we can expect. kind of a mixed bag with france down the most. a half percent there. ten-year note, crude oil all important. the yield up since last week's employment number and crude is a key. jim and i will discuss that through the show this morning with wti. holding steady, if you will, above 40 at least by 75 cents. let's get to our road map. it starts with that terror in france. updates from across europe and the middle east. president obama and french president francois hollande both set to speak this morning. plus how the markets are reacting. futures were down triple digits but as you saw they're recovering as we approach the open. we have a deal for starwood, creating the world's largest hotel company. marriott buying it for about 12 billion in cash and stock. i'll give you the background,
including what happened to hyatt, which was my story from a few weeks ago. first the world still reeling from the horrific attacks in paris on friday. here's what we know right now. at least 129 people are dead. more than 350 are injured. isis has claimed responsibility for the coordinated attack that played out at several locations around the city. the search is on for an eighth attacker. french fighter jets launched a raid on syria. we'll hear from both president obama and french president francois hollande later this morning. jim, when it comes to our job, which is to sort of talk talk about how markets react to this, it's difficult. you never want to minimize the tragedy itself. i will turn to you and say how do you react to things like this? >> it always gives you pause. typically i would go in and say
it looks like they crushed this stock. these are pieces of paper. it's not life. you end up thinking, all right, are you giving hyperbole when you talk about a stock down big? i think people look to us -- it's not like we're not newscasters. i'm the equivalent of a sport guys for stocks. it's not like we'll sit here and say let me give you my analysis of paris. mine is no better than anyone else's, other than the experts. i can give you an analysis of clovis, and tell you what i think the ge exchange offer will do. i can't pretend to be somebody else. >> i wouldn't expect you to be. in that said, in an environment like this with great uncertainty, concern about continued attacks by isis outside of syria, iraq, the middle east, how do you react as
an investor? >> i think "usa today" has information about the boston marathon bombing, madrid bombings, on the calendar there are quick recoveries. we were under severe pressure before this. i think that -- i was not here friday. i was spending some time with some people who support our network greatly. i could tell you when i go through the nordstrom conference call, the macy's conference call, it's almost like everybody stopped spending or is ordering from amazon. we are in the grips of a downturn in the minerals, mining, oil, gas which is very disconcerting to me. even though those are small parts of the economy. their credit is a large part of
the economy. >> their credit is a large part and they have a ripple effect, whether it's steel, which is so important. fracking and drilling, so many other components of that. we know things have slowed dramatically, i think at this point, when it comes to what's going on in the oil fields. >> i was doing work on u.s. steel today saying how does that stock get to 9? it does steel for autos, is aluminum taking over that much? no. it does steel for pipe. we don't need that. it's not talked about that much, i was at the republican debate, i asked the question on the undercard about t immediately gets transferred into something that has nothing to do with the fundamentals of steel. these are big companies. >> as the week goes along we will continue to be focused on retail, oil and so many things that towards the latter half of last week were pressuring the
market. i would mention credit card data not down much. the spending may noting going on at macy's, nordstrom -- >> the trucking industry in disarray. when i see things like dillards, and the stock down gigantically. companies in a mall and there's no traffic. i think where is everybody? an event like this in paris -- it's a glum event. you end up feeling, okay, what the heck am i doing thinking about stocks? when you have that attitude, you don't want to buy a stock. i don't want to take -- buy macy's here because the yield is not supporting enough. you end up with really not great time for stocks. you mentioned paris. we want to get more on that. we'll go live now to that city.
our chief international correspondent joins us now. >> we will start 200 miles northeast of here, oevents in brussels, the scene of a major police action on the outskirts os of brussels. there's a big manhunt on for the suspect of the paris attacks. police office police office police officers covering uf their faces. they are looking for a 26-year-old, connected to the attack according to the french police, because he rented a car that was found outside the bataclan theater, a few clocks from wheblocks from where i am . his brother was a suicide bomber. another brother is in custody.
the police raided 168 locations across the country. 104 people have been taken in custody. and the hunt continues for whatever cell that was responsible for the attacks in paris that killed 129 people. there's a possibility that that number could rise because so many people were critically injured and still in the hospital. we are waiting to hear from the president of this country, francois hollande, he will address the nation later today. back to you. >> thank you very much. we'll continue to check in with michelle throughout the day. marriott agrees to acquire starwood for $12.2 billion, largely stock. creating the world's largest hotel chain and putting sherten, weston and w. under the marriott
umbrella. the deal expands marriott's global footprint. >> they accelerate our globalization. we have been in the business for a long time. starwood is more global than marriott is. we think it's a good thing that we'll have more sources from around the world. at this moment in paris, that may not be ideal. when you look at potential performance on the year, years ahead, china, india, elsewhere, i think we'll see in the long-term that contribution is fabulous. >> still something of a surprise to people who have been following this closely. a number of weeks ago i reported on significant talks that were taking place between starwood and hyatt. they ended up having two tracks. marriott, as i reported at the time, had taken a look and had not been hanging around. came back and reengaged in a significant way. the board was faced over the last week with two parallel tracks that frankly, from what i
understand, were of similar economic value. the hyatt deal would have been 80% stock, 20% cash, last check i had on it. this one, 2 bucks a share, 0.92 shares of -- is what you're getting of marriott for each starwood share. the board made a decision that they like the currency of marriott better than they did hyatt. they liked the composition of the company better. 37% of this combination will be owned by current starwood shareholders. so you're going to be trading into a larger company. it was important for them to make a decision on the currency. so, the chinese, by the way, didn't show up to the bid. hyatt and marriott -- marriott reengaging in the last few weeks. they end up with this enormous deal. >> sold a great deal when it spiked to 85, because the chinese were interested. adam marin comes in, starwood --
it's interesting. i will use the perrigo analogy. perrigo walks away, perrigo gets crushed. >> mylan goes up a lot. >> mylan goes up. here, i'm confident if marriott would go away, starwood would go higher. as bad as starwood's numbers may have been because of china. the company is worth a great deal more than 70. >> you're also getting a piece of the timeshare business that they're merging into another company. about 780. total value for starwood shareholders, almost $80. 79.88. >> itwhen you look at it, was ia worse job than what these guys are doing now? i know adam marin. he's trying hard to brick out value. this is a take under. we are now in paerd where when you make an acquisition, there was a time when i think the deal would have been greeted
positively by the market. >> 12 times presynergy. the multiple is not that high. hyatt, they were not any higher. it was not like they were coming up with -- they were going to have to -- they were willing at hyatt to make a single class of stock. try do things that would have helped solidify their own stock price. in either one of these deals you were taking the currency of the potential acquirer. the board chose marriott. probably -- we'll see how the stock goes this morning. don't like to own their real estate so they will presumably go out and sell some of the real estate. 30% of starwood is owned real estate, including the st. regis. >> why not walk away? why did they have to sell? they didn't have a ceo? it's a terrible thing for starwood shareholders. are you out of your mind? this company had great value, great spinoff.
spending a lot of money. you look at this and you say are you kidding me? you're kidding me, right? you decided to crunch your value? bring back fritz. >> have a chance to vote on it. >> interesting. we'll watch closely how both stocks perform today. >> you going to short starwood? the company doing that badly? >> that's the question. >> that's the question. >> maybe business -- >> one would assume the board knows more than we do. >> we do. >> i would assume the board knows more than we do. >> about what? about the way stocks trade or the way rooms don't fill in china? i like adam marin. i don't like to lose money. no thank you. just say no. >> just say no. coming up, more on the paris attacks including how global leaders are reacting. also ahead, we'll speak with u.s. army captain florence
terrorism undermine security and endanger efforts to strengthen the world's economy. president obama is set to speak live from the summit next hour. chief washington correspondent john harwood is live outside the white house to give us a bit more. john? >> david, this set of attacks in paris has completely changed the focus of the g-20 meeting. it has not fundamentally changed, at least so far as we heard from the white house, their strategy in dealing with isis. they don't to say u.s. troops are not the solution. they continue to say that indigenous boots on the ground are the way to take territory and hold territory from isis. air strikes, special operations, those sorts of things. they hope all those things can be done more vigorously and effectively. there's nothing more important than the potential effect on vladimir putin who you see here in this video huddling with president obama. remember, the russians have been
bombing targets in syria, mostly in defense of bashar al assad, an ally of vladimir putin. with the downing of that jetliner, you have the potential for the united states working more vigorously with russia, with iran on some sort of political transition because american officials believe that assad is the principal recru recruiting engine for isis. now that isis has taken a toll not just in paris, in lebanon, but also in that russian airliner, perhaps vladimir putin may feel greater incentive to work on that political process. we'll hear from the president in about an hour and see how he describes a potential ratcheting up of the current u.s. efforts. again, david, no indication of a fundamental shift in strategy from the white house yet. >> thank you, john. fascinating to watch that video of the two leaders sitting. we talked oil there. russia, of course, oil important to their economy.
let's look at how oil prices are moving amid developments surrounding the attacks. jackie deangeles joins us. >> the commodity markets, specifically speaking energy right now, taking this calmly. we saw a pop in oil prices, which is not surprising. we closed 2.5% lower on friday. at the same time when we hear news about this, about terror attacks, geopolitical ins instabili instability, those concerns come into the marketplace, but those have been fading. oil prices trading closer to the $40 mark. traders said they weren't sure how they would open today, but they could see crude prices going down. this is a global market very well supplied. 3 billion barrels in storage. the scene here in terms of the oil market is different than we've seen in the past when we had other terror attacks. having said that, we could potentially see that three handle. the markets are in the wait and
see mode. they want to see what response is from washington. as these events unfold, we could see more volatility and a change in opinion. gold prices active but then pulling back. >> jim, i turn to you very often and ask you about your sense overall, oil so important. you talked to us many pims about fracking for a while, production did not seem to be halting, then it did seem to. there doesn't seem to be an impact on prices at this point from fraccers kind of cutting back on oil. >> i think people felt there has to be a geopolitical risk here. something will happen in iraq or saudi arabia. nothing. remember, we always -- we're ethnocentric, we feel if we take out a couple rigs, we would affect the oil price. the oil price is set by saudi arabia. saudi arabia said they will not stop. that's the issue.
saudi arabia, not us. >> natural gas down sharply. >> no sustainable. >> right. >> i think you're hearing the applause building. we have a number of service members on the floor, including medal of honor winner -- yeah. colonel groberg may be making his way. there he is. received that medal last week from president obama. for his heroic actions in afghanistan. born in france. >> yeah. >> naturalized u.s. citizen. >> this man who is more driven by the men who died. >> yes. >> not the men he couldn't save. >> or his brothers, as he says.
he saved a lot more. >> yes. we'll have a moment of silence here from the nyc for the victims of the paris attacks when we come back. broader possibilities. cme group: how the world advances. go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over one hundred of the web's leading job boards with a single click.
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we're back on "squawk on the street." about a minute from now we will be having a moment of silence, of course to honor the victims of the attacks on friday, jim. in the minute we have, given we may not have that much time beyond that, what should we be focused on? >> you'll see a move into domestics. chiefly soft goods. the cereal companies go up, natural food companies -- not natural, natural. packaged goods. old line drug stocks move up. old line tech stocks move up.
this is a move against valuat n valuation. this is a move against gopro, fitbit, solarcity. that's what is coming in, the high multiple tech -- >> that's been going on for a while. >> yes. >> i've been a big supporter of facebook and amazon and netflix and google alphabet, they get brought down, thoochlt. >> the nyc and the nasdaq about to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the terror attacks on friday.
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you're watching "squawk on the street." the opening bell will be ringing in about one minute from now. the recipient of the medal of honor will be doing the monhono here at the nyc. last week was a terrible week for retail stocks broadly speaking whether was it macy's, nordstrom, in between any other number of names. it's been largely a negative story for many companies, not all. >> let's talk nordstrom. nordstrom conference call was jarring for people. what they said was we don't have
a lot of traffic. at one point someone said is there reason why? we don't know. we don't know is kind of an odd concept. we don't know. does that mean just amazon? we don't know. that was discouraging to people. >> what do you do? >> stay away from the group until there's different valuation parameters. >> the applause and opening bell here at the new york stock exchange. the realtime exchange at hq about to start trading right now. there we go. doing the honors here, the medal of honor recipient, u.s. army captain floren groberg. we'll speak with him. at the nasdaq. insewe insewe insulet, a company focused on diabet diabetes.
well-timed in many ways. >> sometimes it's better just to liste listen. >> jim, the deal you don't like, marriott is down right now. of course i'm talking about the starwood deal, would create by far the largest hotel company, if you will, the world over. 37% of the company will be owned by starwood shareholders. >> right. >> marriott is known as a very good operator. the thought is they will take a lot of sg & a out, succeed in many ways starwood has not been able to do, and have the up and down, highest to midrange pricing for people who stay in these places. >> look, i am a believer that when a stock goes down on its yield, that's a sign that perhaps doing nothing would have been better.
it's also travel and lee sure. travel and leisure is not doing well today. obviously from the terrorist attack. you know, so -- my daughter was on a -- was on a cruise this weekend. someone died on the cruise. someone jumped and died. and -- it's no reflection of the cruise companies, but you just -- i just -- it was just kind of shocking. i mention it only because that group has been strong. obviously this is an antidotal issue, when you hear something bizarre and out of the way, you look at those stocks and say this is for me personally, kind of like, wow. you know -- those are all safe. this is an aberration. i'm looking at that whole group going down. of course travel will be crimped by this. >> right. >> priceline down a lot. european way to get here. there's a pause.
there's an economic pause going on. there's an unbelievable story about ports, aimports. there is a notion that the fed will tighten. i heard this morning the fed has to tighten now so they can cut when things get bad. >> you hear some people out there talking about the industrial economy, as you mentioned, having a difficult go of it. corporate profit at highs. the expectation being that there's not going to be that much margin left to get. the top line is not growing that quickly. retail, which we mentioned earlier, conspireing to say economy is not that good. >> no. >> the jobs number would seem to indicate otherwise, hence the expectation that we may get a 25 basis point hike from zero up by the fed in december. >> the stocks are reflecting that we'll get one. when i went over the charts this weekend, i went over 1,000 charts this weekend, the stocks
holding up are the oil service stocks. i don't get that. that sounds counter intuitive. but what happens here, you just feel things are washed out. we have an important earnings report tomorrow, home depot. housing has been strong. >> yes. housing and autos. >> one of the reasons why the fed feels it's safe is that if housing and out toes are strong, that's enough of the economy. i want to see the money, where it goes. if the money goes into consumer product stocks, like anheuser-bus anheuser-busch, coors, kellogg, j & j. i think it's impossible to have recession when you have this kind of job growth. this market goes through extremes. >> and does it fairly quickly. >> look at the coal stocks, not that you can find them. if you look at the coal stocks and natural gas stocks and you want to know what is the stress behind the scenes? who is advancing these companies
credit? >> are there coal stocks still? >> there's a couple. >> are there? >> yes. yeah. consolidated. they take your breath away. remember, 30% of the electric capacity in the country is coal. it's not like coal has gone away. coal is hard to dislodge at this point. almost every company utility that could switch has switched. what's left is this base load of coal. so there's real coal demand in the country. there's no coal demand overseas to speak of. china is still creating havoc with a lot of companies. if you look at a cummings or caterpillar, these companies are very good. very good companies. but in the end they're hostage to the demand. >> we want to get more on the attacks in paris. for that we are joined by richard lui live in paris. >> david, good to be here.
we have find a mastermind, the name of that individual, abdel abud. went to an academic high school and then things turned. the mastermind behind that attack on friday. second the manhunt continues for the eighth individual involved in that attack on friday. saleh abdelslam. he is believed to be 26 years old and in belgium. they are going through a neighborhood in belgium, a specific neighborhood, that has been the source of other attacks in the past. they're going door to door looking for salah abdel dominguabdelslam. a lot of progress from friday. that's the headline for today on this monday.
it's not because it's just a monday. francois hollande, the french president, working very hard over the weekend. he has an historic address today. he has to tell his congress what he plans to do. this only happened three times where you had both houses there. so francois hollande will describe what he plans do in the interior and exterior. we know we had the raids that were reported on over the weekend. right here, i'm standing just a stone's throw from the bataclan theater where 89 were killed. we have a vigil here, some imams from local mosques came by today. this may be in response to the interior ministry just saying yesterday that he would like to dissolve -- he called it dissolution of certain mosques that were teaching hateful messages. imams came down today and laid down flowers and said you know what we think of this attack? they're cowards. a lot happening today here in
paris as the government moves forward. moving back to action as the country lives in a state of emergency. david, jim? >> thank you very much, richard lui in paris. >> all right. you know, david, there's been -- i know i was mentioning this, a patriotic bid. people say we won't let this affect us. people are buying. friday was very bad day in the market. the news flow is not as bad as the stocks. travel and leisure, yes. but -- basically wasn't explained why that outlook other than being cautious because of the gdp growth in the world that comes back to fed wants to raise to a gdp slowdown. that's fine. it's not like janet yellen will come out and say events have shown us things are not good. you need to see a decline in the rate of hiring, in the december number to get them off the
table. >> jim, we'll get to bob in a moin f minute for more on what's moving. you know what is moving? down 673% is eldf, clovicon. >> promising lung cancer drug that is apparently not as potent. fda asking for more information. this is the kind of thing when you buy a drug company, like a bristol-myers, something happens, they have this big portfolio, lots of different drugs. when you buy a biotech and it has one important drug and that drug does not work, this is what you get. i always say, listen, biotechs are specs, unless they have a
big group of stocks. cell gene has been in tremendous decline. you're not waiting for what they do with receptos. when you see cell gene go down, it's hard to say i will bottom fish on clovis. >> we had merck, the same market cap again, far higher. >> you talk about warren buffett not selling his ibm. >> not selling his ibm. i know. actually added a bit to it. >> he's still there. >> still there. >> starwood, david, i come back to the hot -- i don't believe -- >> it's cold. >> the stock at 69 on a fundamental basis. >> hot is not hot for you. >> i do believe that stock would be worth more. >> speaking of people hanging around, that's pisani, these always around somewhere. he's on the floor and has more on what's moving. >> 100 feet from you, old friend. let's look at the markets. the reaction to the terrorist bombings in the united states, among our markets and in europe
has been modest. perhaps that's a good thing. you see the cac 40 opening down about 1%. but very quickly recovered, within an hour. moved into positive territory. i want to emphasize the opening was only down about 1%. similar situation in germany. down about 1%. it's near the flat line. surprise to people because the pattern with these attack also been to usually, next day, open the markets to the down side. here's the french market. remember what happened with the charl previous attacks. things went down. people thought that would happen here. that really hasn't happened. we are seeing some losses in groups. the luxury groups, hermes,
kering, luxury goods, only down 1% 2%. there might be thoughts of cancellations from asian tourists that may be the case. kering owns gucci and other luxury brands, pretty modest. european airlines are down more. air france is weak. the par aeroports de paris down 4%. if you look at the u.s. airlines, we're down, but not much. most are down somewhere around 1%. jetblue, usa, american airlines, all down 1% to 2%. expedia, down 2%. not surprisingly a lot of talk about aerospace and defense companies, like ratheon, lockheed, and boeing. ratheon makes the tomahawk missile and lockheed martin makes the hellfire missile.
they're up but not dramatically. these companies are involved in surveillance and border control technology. that may be a big beneficiary. fingerprint cards in europe up about 7%. they do fingerprint checks. the important thing is this time is different. the markets globally were down 2%, depending on where you look at. 3% for the month. much higher degree of earnings and guidance disappointments. the markets are more fragile. there are three attacks here, the bombing in paris, the beirut bombing, and the downing of the russian plane in egypt. the concern is that we're in for more higher levels of volatility. the vix is over 20. that's when it gets noticed by the rest of the market. david, back to you. >> thank you very much, bob
pisani. we are here with florent groberg who received the medal of honor from president obama last week. he is straight from the opening bell. honored to have you here. >> thank you for having me here. >> was that an exciting moment for you. >> was nerve-racking. you know, i had specific instructions, don't mess it up, or they'll boo you. >> i don't know that they would have booed you, they boo plenty, that's true. >> thursday's ceremony, i would assume, quite a moment for you. i'm curious, when you're receiving the medal of honor from the president, what's going through your mind? >> the first thing going through my mind is don't fall out. don't lock your knees. i was just so emotional. i was -- i had an opportunity throughout the ceremony to make eye contact with the goldstar families. i was thinking about my guys that i lost.
i was thinking about the guys that i had there supporting me. it was just emotional. >> captain, honor to see you. it seemed like you had a sixth sense in the actual moment that you were somehow able to identify -- thinking about france here, it was almost as if you saw something coming. you said it was a weird day to begin with. is it just a sense that great soldiers have that something could be happening? >> well, you know, it was something that you get in combat at different times in your career. you step up and you lead, and you think, i don't know i don't think right about this one. every time you step out of the wire, you're 100% ready. we all do this all the time. we didn't change anything in regards to readiness factor. i just changed the maneuvered that day.
you can say sixth sense, it happens to all of us. >> the men who died, extremely high ranking men. your mission -- i saw majors. talk about some of those men who died. they're special men. >> they're the true hero in all this. i was given an opportunity to represent them with this medal and represent their families. and these guys went out there, you know, they're doing their jobs like i was doing my job, like thousands of americans -- service members and civilian services guys do over. there i live with them. i think about them every single day. i have the bracelet right here that's -- it allows me to wake up every morning and remember that i'm still here. i have a great responsibility to be better and live for them. i earned a second chance on that day. >> you're the first foreign-born recipient of the medal of honor since the vietnam war. interestingly, born in france which is on peoples minds, as you might expect today.
>> yeah. born in france. you know, my heart goes to paris. my heart goes to the french -- all the french citizens. this is why we fight. we have enemies that want to hurt our way of life. that's why i was given an opportunity to wear this uniform and be a part of the solution. >> we're honored to have you. thank you for stopping by. congratulations on ringing the opening bell this morning. >> honored to meet you, sir. >> captain florent groberg joining us at post nine. "squawk on the street" will be right back. ...and that's what they give me at national car rental. i can choose any car in the aisle i want- without having to ask anyone. who better to be the boss of you... (patrick 1)than me. i mean, you...us. (vo) go national. go like a pro.
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friday afternoon, trading around 2.26 in tens, 2.25 now. if you open the chart up to july 1st, you could see that rates have already made their play moving from higher to lower, maybe we have priced in the fed. nothing seems to have inchanged in investors minds in terms of how they're moving capital around. a two-day of bunds, similar dynamic. july 1st, pattern similar. foreign exchanges where many thought you would see movement -- indeed there was when the news of this hit, certain markets over the weekend opened for the first time giving the investors the ability to interact with the markets, that's to be expected. what we see in the euro versus the dollar, as you look at a one-day chart, what you need to understand is about 1.0743 is where the market was at 3:00 eastern on friday. not far from where it's trading currently. dollaren, april 1st, you can see it's movement has been
strong dollar as well. we will continue to monitor, but at this point markets seem to be preoccupied with growth issues and, of course, the fed. david faber, back to you. >> all right, thank you very much, rick santelli. we are standing by waiting to hear from the president at the g-20 summit in turkey. before then, try to get a faber report in here, jim. talking about activism, it has not been going well for some activists we know whether, this morning another activist situation to alert you to. which we'll probably get to later in the 10:00 hour. you saw the president approaching the lectern there. president obama holding a news conference at the g-20 summit in turkey. let's listen in. >> hosting this g-20 summit. the hospitality of the turkish people is legendary. to our turkish friends --
[ speaking foreign language ] i've been practicing that. at the g-20 our focus was on how to get the global economy growing faster, creating more jobs for our people. i'm pleased that we agreed that growth has to be inclusive to address the rising inequality around the world. giving growing cyberthreats, we committed to a set of norms drafted by the united states for how governments should conduct themselves in cyberspace, including a commitment not to engage in the cybertheft of intellectual property for personal gain. as we head into global climate talks, we pledged to work together for a successful outcome in paris. of course much of our attention has focused on the heinous attacks that took place in
harris. across the world, in the united states, americanidarity with our french allies. we are working hard with the french as they track down suspects. france is already a strong counterterroism partner. today we are streamlining the process by which we share intelligence and operational military information with france. this will allow personnel to pass threat information to french partners even more quickly and more often because we need to be doing everything we can to protect moragainst mo attacks and protect our citizens. tragically paris is not alone. we've seen outrageous attacks by isil in beirut, last month in
ankara, routinely in iraq. here at the g-20 our nations have sent an unmistakable message that we are united against this threat. isil is the face of evil. our goal, as i said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization. as i outlined this fall at the united nations, we have a comprehensive strategy using all elements of our power. military, intelligence, economic, development, and the strength of our communities. we have always understood this would be a long-term campaign. there will be setbacks and successes. the terrible events in paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback. even as we grieve with our french friends, however, we can't lose sight that there has
been progress being made. on the military front, our coalition is intensifying air strikes, more than 8,000 to date, taking out isil leaders, commanders, their killers. we've seen when we have an effective partner on the ground isil can and is pushed back. so local forces in iraq backed by coalition air power liberated sinjar, are fighting to take back ra ma'ramadi. we stepped up support of opposition forces who are working to cut off fly lines to isil's strongholds in and around ra raqua, so in short isil controls let's territory than it did before. i made the point to my fellow leaders f we want this progress to be sustained, we need more
nations to step up with the resources that the fight demands. the attacks in paris remind us it will not be enough to defeat isil in syria and france alone. strengthening border controls, sharing more information and preventing foreign fighters in and out of syria and iraq. as the united states showed in libya, isil leaders will have no safehaven anywhere. on the humanitarian front, our nations have agreed we have to do more individually and collectively to address the agony of the syrian people. the united states is already the largest donor of humanitarian aid to the syrian people, $4.5 billion worth of aid so far.
as winter approaches, we are donating additional supplies through the united nations. the u.n. appeal for syria still has less than half the funds needed. today i'm again calling on more nations to contribute the resources this crisis demands in terms of refugees, it's clear countries like turkey, lebanon and jordan which are bearing an extraordinary border cannot do so alone. at the same time all our countries have to ensure our security. as president i have to make sure the safety of the american people. that's why each as we accept more refugees, including syrians, we do so only after submit them to security checks. we have to recognize many of these people are victims of terrorism themselves. that's what their fleeing. slamming the door in their faces would be a retr betrayal our va.
we can and must do both. finally, we have begun to see some modest progress on the diplomatic front which is critical because a political solution is the only way to end the war in syria and unite the syrian people and the world against isil. the vienna talks mark the first time that all the key countries have come together. as a result i would add of american leadership and reached a common understanding. with this weekend's talks there's a path forward. negotiations between the syrian opposition and the syrian regime under the auspices of the united nations a transition to a more inclusive representative government, a new constitution followed by free elections and alongside this political process a seas ficease-fire in the civis we continue to fight isil. these are ambitious goals.
hopes force diploma say in syria have been dashed before. there are any number of ways this latest diplomatic push could falter. there are still disagreements between the parties including most critically over the fate of bashar assad. who we do not believe has a role in syria's future because of his brutal rule. his war against the syrian people is the primary root cause of this crisis. what is different this time, and what gives us some degree of hope is that, as i said, for the first time all major countries on all sides of the syrian conflict agree on a process that is needed to end this war. so, while we are clear-eyed about the very, very difficult road still ahead, the united nations in partnership with our coalition is going to remain relentless on all fronts, military, humanitarian, and diplomatic. we have the right strategy, we'll see it through. with that, i will take some questions. i will begin with jerome
cartalea of afp. >> thank you, mr. president. 129 people were killed in paris on friday night. isil claimed responsibility for the massacre, sending the message that they could not target civilians all over the world. the equation has clearly changed. is it time for your strategy to change? >> well, keep in mind what we have been doing. we have a military strategy that involves putting enormous pressure on isil through air strikes, that has put assistance and training on the ground with
iraqi forces, we're now working with syrian forces as well to squeeze isil, cut off supply lines. we've been coordinating to reduce financing capabilities, the oil they're trying to ship outside. we're taking strikes against high-value targets, including most recently against the individual who was on the video execute i executing civilians who had already been captured as well as the head of isil in libya. it's not just in iraq and syria. so on the military front we are continuing to accelerate what we do as we find additional partners on the ground that are effective, we work with them more closely. i already authorized additional special forces on the ground who are going to be able to improve that coordination.
on the counterterroism front, keep in mind that since i came into office, we have been worried about these kinds of attacks. the vigilance that the united states government maintains and the cooperation that we're consistently expanding with our european and other partners in going after every single terrorist network is robust and constant. and every few weeks i meet with my entire national security team and we go over every single threat stream presented. where we have relevant information, we share it immediately with our counterparts around the world, including our european partners. on aviation security, we have, over the last several years been working so that at various airport sites, not just in the united states, but overseas, we are strengthening our mechanisms
to screen and discover passengers who should not be boarding flights. and improving the manners in which we are screening luggage that is going on board. and on the diplomatic front we have been consistently working to try to get all the parties together to recognize that there is a moderate opposition inside of syria that can form the basis for a transition government. and to reach out not only to our friends but also to the russians and the iranians on the other side of this equation to explain to them that ultimately an organization like isil is the greatest danger to them as well as to us. so, there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward. but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to
work. but as i said from the start, it's going to take time. and what's been interesting is in the aftermath of paris, as i listened to those who suggest something else needs to be done, typically the things they suggest need to be done are things we're already doing. the one exception is that there had been a few who suggested that we should put large numbers of u.s. troops on the ground. and keep in mind that, you know, we have the finest military in the world we have the finest military minds in the world. i've been meeting with them intensive intensively for years now discussing these various options. and it is not just my view, but the view of my closest military and civilian advisers that that
would be a mistake. not because our military could not march into mosul or raqua or ramadi and temporarily clear out isil. but because we would see a repetition of what we saw before, which is if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance, and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface. unless we're prepared to have a permanent onccupation of these countries. let's assume we send 50,000 troops in syria, what happen when's there's a terrorist attack generated from yemen?
do we send more troop also or libya? if there's a terrorist network operating anywhere else in north africa or or southeast asia? a strategy has to be one that's sustained. the strategy that we're pursuing which focuses on going after targets, limiting wherever possibility the capabilities of isil on the ground, systematically going after leadership, infrastructure, strengthening shia or -- strengthening syrian and iraqi forces that are -- and kurdish forces prepared to fight them, cutting off their borders. squeezing the space in which they can operate until ultimately we can defeat them. that's the strategy we'll have to pursue. we'll continue to generate more
partners for that strategy. there will be some things that we try that don't wok, there will be some strategies that do work. when we find strategies that work, we'll double down on those. >> margaret brennan, cbs. >> thank you, mr. president. a more than year-long bombing campaign in iraq and syria has failed to contain the ambition and ability of isis to launch attacks in the west. have you underestimated their abilities? will you widen the rules of engagement for u.s. forces to take more aggressive action. >> we haven't underestimated or abilities. this is precisely why we're in iraq as we speak. why we're operating in syria as we speak. and it's precisely why we have mobilized 65 countries to go after isil.
why i hosted at the united nations an entire discussion of counterterroism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters. why we've been putting pressure on those countries that have not been as robust as they need to in tracking the flow of foreign fighters in and out of syria and iraq. so, there has been an acute awareness on the part of my administration from the start that it is possible for an organization like isil that has such a twisted ideology, has shown such extraordinary brutality and complete disregard for innocent lives, that they would have the capabilities to potentially strike in the west and because thousands of
fighters have flowed from the west and are european citizens, a few hundred from the united states, but far more from europe, that when those foreign fighters returned it posed a significant danger. and we have consistently worked with our european partners disrupting plots there some cases, sadly this one was not disrupted in time. understand one of the challenges we have in this situation is if you have a handful of people who don't mind dying, they can kill a lot of people. that's one of the challenges of terrorism. it's not their sophistication or the particular weapon that they possess, but it is the ideology
they carry with them and their willingness to die. in those circumstances tracking each individual, making sure that we are disrupting and preventing these attacks is a constant efforted vigilance and requires extraordinary communication. part of the reason why it's important what we do in iraq and syria is that the narrative that isil developed of creating this caliphate makes it more attractive to potential recruits. when i said that we are containing their spread in iraq and syria, in fact they control less territory than they did last year. the more we shrink that territory, the less they can pretend that they are somehow a functioning state and the more
it becomes apparent that they are simply a network of killers who are brutalizing local population populations. that allows us to reduce the flow of foreign fighters, which then over time will lessen the numbers of terrorists who can potentially carry out terrible acts like they did in paris. that's what we did with al qaeda. that doesn't mean, by the way, that al qaeda no longer possesses the capabilities of potentially striking the west. al qaeda in the peninsula that operates primarily in yemen we know what consistently tried to target the west. and we are consistently working to disrupt those acts. but despite the fact they have not gotten as much attention as
isil, they pose a danger as well. so, our goals here consistently have to be to be aggressive and to leave no stone unturned. but also recognize this is not conventional warfare. we play into the isil narrative when we act as if they're a state. and we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state that is attacking another state. that's not what's going on here. these are killers. with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media. and are able to infiltrate the minds of not just iraqis or
syrians, but disaffected individuals around the world. when they activate those individuals, those individuals can do a lot of damage. we have to take the approach of being rigorous on the counterterroism efforts and find out how we can get more information, how we can infiltrate the networks, how we can reduce their operational space. even as we also try to shrink the amount of territory that they control to defeat their narrative. ultimately to reclaim territory from them is going to require, however, an ending of the syrian civil war, which is why diplomatic efforts are so important. and it's going to require an affective iraqi effort that bridges shia and sunni differences. which is why our diplomatic efforts inside of iraq are so
important as well. jim avila? >> thank you, mr. president. in the days and weeks before the paris attacks, did you receive warning in your daily intelligence briefing that an attack was imminent? if not, does that not call into question the current assessment that there is no immediate specific credible threat to the united states today? secondly, if i could ask you to address your critics who say your reluctance to enter another middle east war and your reference of diplomacy over using the military makes the united states weaker and emboldens our enemies. >> jim, every day we have threat streams coming through the intelligence transit.
every several weeks we sit down with all my security, intelligence and military teams to discuss various threat streams that may be generated. the concerns about potential isil attacks in the west have been there for over a year now. and they come through periodically. there were no specific mentions of this particular attack that would give us a sense of something that we need -- that we could provide french authorities, for example, or act on ourselves. but typically the way the intelligence works is there will be a threat stream that is from one source, how reliable is that
source? perhaps some signal intelligence gets picked up. it's evaluated, some of it is extraordinarily vague and unspecific. there's no clear timetable. some of it may be more specific. and then folks chase down that threat to see what happens. i'm not aware of anything that was specific in the sense that given a premonition of the action in paris that would allow for law enforcement or military actions to disrupt it. with respect to the broader issue of my critics, to some degree i answered the question earlier. when you listen to what they actually have to say, what they're proposing, most of the time when pressed they describe
things that we're already doing. many that we're already doing. some of them seem to think if i was more bellicose in expressing what we're doing, that that would make a difference. that seems to be the only thing they're doing, is talking as if they're tough. but i have not seen particular strategies that they would suggest that would make a real difference. now there are a few exceptions. as i said, the primary exception is those who would deploy u.s. troops on a large scale to retake territory either in iraq or now in syria. i just addressed why i think
they're wrong. there have been some who are well meaning, and i don't doubt their sincerity when it comes to the issue of the dire humanitarian situation in syria. who, for example, call for a no-fly zone or a safe zone of some sort. this is an example of an issue where i will sit down with our top military and intelligence advisers, we will painstakingly go through what does something like that look like? and typically after we have gone through a lot of planning and a lot of discussion and really working it through, it is determined that it would be counterproductive to take those steps. in part because isil does not have planes. so, the attacks are on the ground, a true safe zone
requires us to set up ground operations. and the bulk of the deaths that have occurred in syria, for example, have come about not because of regime bombing, but because of on the ground casualties. who would come in who would come out of that safe zone? how would it work? would it become a magnet for further terrorist attacks? and how many personnel would be required, and how would it end? there's a whole set of questions that have to be answered there. i guess my point is this, jim. my only interest is to end suffering and keep the american people safe. if there's a good idea out there, then we'll do it. i don't think i've shown hesitation to act, whether it's with respect to bin laden or
with respect to sending additional troops into afghanistan or keeping them there. if it is determined that it's going to actually work. but what we do not do, what i do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make america look tough. or make me look tough. maybe part of the reason is because every few months i go to walter reid. i see a 25-year-old kid who is paralyzed or lost his limbs. some of those are people i've ordered into battle.
so i can't afford to play some of the political games that others may. we'll do what's required to keep the american people safe. i think it's entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. if they think somehow their advisers are better than the chairman of my joints chief of staff and the folks actually on the ground, i want to meet them. we can have that debate what i'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of american leadership or
america winning or whatever other slogans they come up with. that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the american people and to protect people in the region who are getting killed and to protect our allies and people like france. i'm too busy for that. jim acosta? >> thank you very much, mr. president. i wanted to go back to something you said to margaret earlier when you said you have not underestimated isis' abilities. this is an organization that you once described as a jv team, that evolved into a force that has now occupied territory in iraq and syria and is now able to use that safe haven to launch attacks in other parts of the world. how is that not underestimating their capabilities?
how is that contained, quite frankly? i think a lot of americans have this frustration that they see the united states has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on isis. i guess the question is, if you'll forgive the language, why can't we take out these -- >> jim, i just spent the last three questions answering that very question. so, i don't know what more you want me to add. i think i've described specifically what our strategy is. i described specifically why we do not pursue some of the other strategies that have been suggested. the -- the -- this is not, as i said, a traditional military opponent. we can retake territory.
as long as we leave troop there's, we can hold it. that does not eliminate the dynamics producing these kinds of violent extremist groups. so we will continue to pursue the strategy that has the best chance of working, even though it does not offer the satisfaction, i guess, of a neat headline, or an immediate resolution. part of the season, as i said, jim, is because there are costs to the other side. i just want to remind people, this is not an abstraction. when we send troops in, those troops get injured. they get killed.
they're away from our families. our country spends hundreds of billions of dollars. so given the fact there are enormous sacrifices involved in any military action, it's best that we don't shoot first and aim later. it's important for us to get the strategy right. the strategy that we're pursuing is the right one. ron allen? >> thank you, mr. president. i think a lot of people around the world and in america are concerned because given the strategy that you're pursuing and it's been more than a year now, isis' capabilities seem to be expanding. were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in paris? are you concerned and do you think they have that same capability to strike in the
united states? and do you think that given all you learned about isis over the past year or so, given all the criticism about you underestimating them, do you think you really uerstand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland? >> all right. so, this is another variation on the same question. and i guess -- let me try it one last time. the we have been fully aware of the potential capabilities of them carrying out a terrorist attack, that's precisely why we have been mounting a very aggressive strategy to go after them. as i said before, when you're
talking about the ability of a handful of people with not -- not wildly sophisticated military equipment, weapons, who are willing to die, they can kill a lot of people. preventing them from doing so is challenging for every country. if there was a swift and quick solution to this, i assure you that not just the united states but france and turkey and others who have been subject to these terrorist attacks would have implemented those strategies. there are certain advantages that the united states has in preventing these kinds of attacks. obviously after 9/11 we hardened the homeland. set up additional steps to
protect aviation, to apply lessons learned. we have seen much better cooperation between the -- between the fbi, state governments, local governments. there is some advantages to geography, with respect to the united states. but having said that, we've seen the possibility of terrorist attacks on our soil. there is the boston marathon bombers. obviously it did not result in the scale of death as we saw in paris, but that was a serious attempt at killing a lot of people by two brothers and a cro crockpot. and it gives you a sense of the kinds of challenges involved in
this going forward. again, isil that serious capabilities. it's capabilities are not unique. they're capabilities that other terrorist organizations that we track and are paying attention to possess as well. we are going after all of them. what is unique about isil is the degree to which it's been able to control territory that then allows them to attract additional recruits and the greater effectiveness they have on social media and their ability to use that to not only attract recruits to fight in syria, but also potentially to carry out attacks in the homeland and in europe and in other parts of the world. so our ability to shrink the space in which they can operate, combined with a resolution of the syria situation which will reduce the freedom with which
they feel they can operate. getting local forces who are able to hold and keep them out over the long-term that will ultimately be what will make a difference. it will take some time, but it's not something that at any stage in this process have we not been aware needs to be done. [inaudible question] [inaudible question]
>> this is something that we spoke a lot about at the g-20. the overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism over the last several years, certainly the overwhelming majority of victims of isil are themselves muslims. isil does not represent islam. it is not representative in any way of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of muslims. this is something that's been emphasized by muslim leaders, whether it's president erdogan or the president of indonesia or the president of malaysia, countries that are majority
muslim but have shown themselves to be tolerant and to work to be inclusive in their political process. so, to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible actions that took place in paris with the views of islam, you know, those kinds of stereotypes are counter productive, they're wrong. they will lead, i think to greater recruitment in terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a muslim problem as opposed to a terrorist problem. what is also true is that the most vicious terrorist organizations at the moment are
ones that claim to be speaking on behalf of true muslims. i do think that muslims around the world, rleligious leaders, political leaders, ordinary people have to ask serious questions about how did these extremist ideologies take root. even if it's only affecting a very small fraction of the population, it is real. it is dangerous. and it has built up over time. and with social media, it is now accelerating. so sh so, on the one hand, stereotyp
muslim community needs to think how can we make sure the children is not affected with the notion that they can kill innocent people and that's justified by religion. to some degree that's something that has to come from within the muslim community itself. i think there have been times where there has not been enough pushback against extremism. there's some who say we don't believe in violence, but are not as willing to challenge some of the extremist thoughts or rationales for why muslims feel oppressed. i think those ideas have to be challenged. let me make one last point about this. then, unfortunately, i have to take a flight to manila. looking forward to seeing manila
but i hope to come back to turkey when i'm not so busy. one of the places that you're seeing this debate play itself out is on the refugee issue. both in europe and i gather it started popping up while i was back in the united states. the people who are fleeing syria are the most harmed by terrorism, they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife. they are parents. they are children. they are orphans. and it is very important -- i was glad to see this was
affirmed again and again by the g20, that we do not close our hearts to these victims. of such violence. and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism. in europe, people like chancellor merkel have taken a courageous stance by saying it's our moral obligation as fellow human beings to help people who are in such vulnerable situations. i know it's putting an enormous strain of the resources of the people of europe, and nobody has been carrying a bigger burden than the people of turkey with
2.5 million refugees, and the people of jordan admitting refugees. the fact they kept their borders open is a signal of their belief in common humanity. so we have to -- each of us, do our part. united states has to step up and do its part. when i hear folks say maybe we should just admit the christians but not the muslims. when i hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person fleeing from a war torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were
fleeing political persecution, that's shameful. that's not american. it's not who we are. we don't have religious tests to our compassion. when pope francis came to visit the united states and gave a speech before congress, he didn't just speak about christians who were being persecuted, he didn't call on catholic parishes just to admit those who were of the same religious faith, he said protect people who are vulnerable. so i think it's important for us right now, particular already those in leader shship, particularly those who have a platform and can be heard not to fall into that trap. not to feed that dark impulse
inside of us. i had a lot of disagreements with george w. bush on policy. but i was very proud after 9/11 when he was adamant and clear about the fact that this is not a war on islam. the notion that some of those who have taken on leadership and his party would ignore all of th that, that's not who we are. on this they should follow his example. that was the right one. that was the right impulse. it's our better impulse. whether you are european or american, you know, the values
that we are defending -- the values that we're fighting against isil for are precisely that we don't discriminate against people because of their faith. we don't kill people because they're different than us. that's what separates us from them. we don't feed that kind of notion. that somehow christians and muslims are at war. if we want to be successful defeating isil, that's a good place to start, but not promoting that kind of ideology, that kind of attitude. in the same way that the muslim community has an obligation not to in any way excuse anti-western or anti-christian sentiment, we have the same obligation as christians. we are -- it's good to remember
that the united states does not have a religious test and we are a nation of many peoples of different faiths which means we so he compassion to everybody. those are the universal values we stand for. that's what my administration intends to stand for. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> president obama concludes his news conference at the g-20 in turkey, explaining why ground troops should not be committed to the fight against isis. on the right-hand side of the screen, we want to take to you versailles where the french president for the first time in six, seven years is addressing both houses of the french parliament. he has suggested that actually france is engaged in a war on jihadi terrorism. >> translator: they can use their weapons, also will need to
be treated within the rule of law. these different themes will constitute the content of the new legislation that i ask the first minister to work on without delay with the concerned ministers, minister of justice, minister of interior, so that we can without delay lose any time. this will include all the measures that have been adopted since 2012 of the anti-terrorist laws, intelligence laws. reinforcement of means, but i'm also conscious that we need to increase our resources. because if we are at war, we cann cannot be at war with what we
had a few years ago, to ensure the safety of our citizens. so, 5,000 more jobs will be created in the coming two year . in order to have 5,000 more police. so we will create 10,000 more jobs within the coming five years. this is a considerable effort and the government is going to assume this in the new budget and it will allow simply to restore the potential of the security forces in the country at the level of 2007. this job creation we will benefit the fight against terrorism, the police at the borders, and general security in the country. they will be accompanied by
commitment and necessary investments necessary to the accomplishment of their division. the minister of justice will have 2,500 extra jobs for the penitentiary administration and judicial administration and i'm not forgetting the customs service which will have to be reinforced with 1,000 more jobs so that we can ensure the control of our borders when it will be necessary. concerning our armies, which are more and more solicited by external operations that we're going to go forward with, the security of our citizens, which is necessary, i'm going to -- i decided there that there will be no decrease of staff in the
defense. so this reorganization of our armies will be done at the operational units. the government will presented without delay a new plan of the evolution of defense, positive to 2017. i also wish that we use better -- that the potential of our -- of our military. we -- which is not completely, the services did-there will be a link -- stronger link between the army and nation. this constitutes an amendment that can tomorrow maybe form a national guard that will be available. all these budgetary decisions will be taken within the final slot, which has been discussed for 2016. they will translate, i assume by
more expenses, but under these circumstances i think that the security pact it more important than the financial stability. members of the parliament, the face of the dead, the wounded, the families is in my mind. the souvenir feeds my resolution which i know is also yours. and my determination to fight terrorism, france needs to still stay itself. the bar bebarians who have attad it will not manage to change its face. they will never manage to damage the french soul.
they will never change our lifestyle. we live freely and they will -- and we will show it. i'm thinking about the youth. i think about those who are with the victim the and asking about the capacity to live within the rule of law. we are going to continue to w k work. we will continue to go out. we are going to continue to live. we are going to continue to influence the world. and this is why the great international government will not only be kept but be a moment of hope and solidarity. of hope because it's about the future of the planet and solidarity. because there will be more than
100 heads of state and governments who will be coming to negotiate a biding contract so that we can all survive. so that our children and great grandchildren will be able to have the planet they will have received on heritage, but they will also come to tell france, a country of liberties, how the whole world is in solidarity. how the whole world also needs to mobilize to fight against terrorism. in the same way the rhythm of our democracy are not submitted to the blackmailing of terrorists. the original elections will take place at the set dates and the political life will go on. that is our task. mr. president of the congress, mr. president of the senate, ladies and gentlemen of
parliament, you who represent the nation, you represent the nation in all its sensitivities diversity and avoid any -- any direct sense -- our task as republicans. in some circumstances, the republic may have gone further away from this struggle. this is not going to happen again. the republic, we wish to divest of it all of necessary force this new context of war is calling for, in order to eradicate, with respect of our values, terrorism, without losing any of what guarantees of the rule of law. because the french wish to continue to live together
without being afraid of their neighbors. because we are attached to freedom. so that the circulation of people, the melting pot of cultures. we will eradicate terrorism. terrorism will not destroy the republic because it is the republic that will destroy it. long live france. long live the republic. >> earl yes,er with heard from president obama at the g-20 summit in turkey. speaking briefly and then taking questions for quite some time.
the u.s. response to isis, whether it should change in terms of strategy. the president keeping to his current strategy, it would seem, as he received those questions and also used the opportunity to comment, at least broadly speaking, on some of the republican candidates for president. john harwood joins us now on the white house with more on that speech. john. >> that's exactly right, david. all the questions at that news conference were variations on the same theme. have you underestimated isis? do you have the right strategy for defeating it? the president's answer, over and over in different ways was, yes, we have the only workable strategy and we are making progress. but he made the point that as long as you have a small number of people who are willing to lay down their lives in order to kill a lot of people, they can do that. ipts not about a sophistication. it's about willingness to lay down their lives. that puts him squarely in the middle of a very tough political
debate. after you have an event like the paris attacks and massacres, it's difficult for a president to persuade people he's got the right strategy. nevertheless, we are doing things that are designed to be sustainable over the long term. presumably committing large number of troops to the next place in which terrorism springs from. he also had very sharp words for republican critics who have been saying that only christian refugees should be admitted to the country. ted cruz of texas, one of the republican presidential candidates, said the president said that was shameful, a dark impulse, un-american, urged read siftance. made the point the vast numbers of victims of isis are, in fact, muslims, and you can't suggest
we only care about christian victims of that violence. so you had a president defending his policy. not an easy place to be right now. but that is going to generate strong responses from the republicans later in the day, we can be sure of that. >> absolutely. john, thank you very much. john harwood joining us there from the white house. joining us, former deputy secretary of defense for middle east policy brigadier general mark kimmitt. welcome to the program. the central point the president made within the last few minutes, that's his question of whether you put ground troops, or you put troops on the grounds to try to better deal with the situation as john referred to there. he said his closest military and civilian advisers believe it would be a mistake because if the local population is not committed to inclusive politics and to themselves reject extremists, you end up in places the united states has been before. namely, you have to have a permanent presence on the
ground, and that won't help you with the few people who are willing to take their own lives and can wreak havoc amongst many hundreds of others. is the president wrong to assert that? >> well, i think where the president is wrong is he's trying to draw distinction between putting 50 people on the ground or putting 50,000 people on the ground. look, i don't think anybody wants to see 50,000 american troops back on the ground any time soon. more importantly, it wouldn't be helpful to the strategy. but i think small numbers of troops, aiding, assisting and advising some of the best forces in the region is a logical next step. clearly the strategy of, depending on local forces in both syria and iraq, is not working. >> but he has already committed to send some hundreds of personnel down there to do more or less what you're suggesting, surely, sir. >> well, actually, the announcement was in syria, he was providing less than 50. so could that be double, triple, quadruple?
certainly. would that hit that 50,000 number he is trying to avoid? no. but i also think more troops is a bit of a red herring for the part of his strategy that is most failing. and that is on the strategic narrative. >> do you thing the president was at all effective? when deend iffing himself against critics? saying he underestimated the threat of isis, that they are making progress, despite what he called a sickening setback that we saw in paris over the weekend. did he make any effective case that what they're doing at all in syria and in iraq is working, general? >> well, i'm less concerned about that comment that he made quite some time ago about this being the jv. i'm more concerned about the belief he has, the advisers have put in his mind, that he is somehow containing isis. look, in the last three week, we've seen the downing of an egyptian aircraft, bombings in beirut, trying to breaprovoke c
war in lebanon again, paris. and today an announcement they intend to strike washington, d.c. next. that is hardly containing the isis threat. >> in fairness to the president, i think -- he's gone back on the words he issued on thursday in advance of the paris attacks, where he was suggesting, and he repeated it many times, they have less ground available to them. as a result partly working with local partners to push them back. he would argue it's about the size of the footprint they have there that he was referring to when he said they were contained. clearly, he says, for some time, in his defense, they have that information that they could launch terrorist attacks, as indeed they have done so. >> well, again, i think that's the fundamental mistake the president is making. that somehow this is an issue of square footage being controlled by isis. it's not the amount of square footage or square mile also you control, it's that area of cyberspace that they have absolutely controlled. we were not doing anything to counterattack. they use cyberspace and the
internet to communicate. then use it to attract recruits. they use it to spread terror. and then use it to show the effects of their operations. and we are doing nothing. and the president said that that is one of the hardest things to solve. but i don't see he's doing anything in that regard. >> so what would you suggest? you're not suggesting presumably they black out parts of social media? doesn't that backfire hugely? >> it certainly does. i'm not suggesting that. whether i am suggesting is the nations in the region, perhaps supported by the united states, send out a counternarrative. send out a counter argument to what we're seeing uncontested on social media in the internet in these videos. where is the response to that? it's great to counterattack raqqah and take more ground and reduce the size of the press's on the ground, but where's the fight in cyber space? who's in charge of it? and who is putting milestones out to defeat it?
>> i just have a quick question about what the president said. he said he didn't get any specific intelligence that would merit the french authorities to prevent such an attack. do we have an intelligence problem when it comes to targeting isis? whether it's their capabilities on social media or through technology? doesn't this speak to a larger issue when it companies to u.s. intelligence? if that is going to be the primary way we're going to prevent terrorist attacks and, in the president's words, we'll do what's required to keep america safe? >> no, i agree with you. it could well be that part of this is an intelligence gap. part of this is this ongoing debate between security and privacy. but i think the most important issue is the fact that it looks as if these groups are starting to use apps that can make their communication s cryptologized, basically secure, that they use the dark web to send messages.
we need to get ahead of their capability to make sure their messages are secure and not read by our intelligence community. that was a huge void. >> we'll leave it there. thank you. brigadier general mark kimmitt joining us in the wake of that speech from president obama at the g-20. >> we've been hearing from president francois hollande, the president of france, in a rare address to both housings of parliament just outside of paris in versailles. we want to go to our chief international correspondent michelle kcar ruse sa cab berra. we heard about the changes in his effort to fight terrorism. again saying france is at war, this time with jihadi terrorists. >> yes, sarah, he is asking for a change to the constitution. a dramatic step. where he made the speech today at the palace of versailles. he says the reason he needs